By Aaron Recuenco
A 52-year old fisherman emerged wounded after a struggle with a crocodile which attacked him on the shoreline of Bataraza town in Palawan last November 1.
Lt. Col. Socrates Faltado, spokesman of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) regional police, said the crocodile attack occurred at around 11:30 p.m. on November 1 in Sitio Kamonongan in Barangay Tagolango.
He identified the victim as Hairal Jaapal.
“The victim was testing his newly-built boat on the shoreline because it was high tide during that time,” said Faltado.
“He failed to notice the approaching crocodile which later attacked him,” he added.
Fortunately, Jaapal was able to free himself although the crocodile had already bitten his right leg.
It was an intense struggle as the crocodile was already trying to drag him towards the sea.
Faltado said the victim was taken to the nearby hospital.
“According to the residents, the crocodile was more or less 10-feet long,” said Faltado.
The southernmost part of Palawan, which includes Bataraza town, is home to big saltwater crocodiles.
In recent years, there have been reported cases of deadly attack on local residents.
Experts attribute the attack to the encroachment of people in the natural habitat of the saltwater crocodile, which include setting up houses and communities in areas where the crocodile breed and hunt for food.